The champions of the (free software) world have responded to Microsoft’s recent privacy and encryption announcements, saying that Redmond’s efforts are all in vain.

Microsoft made several promises regarding user privacy recently, and confirmed that it was making efforts to protect customer data from government spying. But according the FSF (Free Software Foundation), the company cannot be trusted because they are using proprietary software.

The executive director of FSF, John Sullivan, responded with the following comment:

“Microsoft has made renewed security promises before. In the end, these promises are meaningless.

Proprietary software like Windows is fundamentally insecure not because of Microsoft’s privacy policies but because its code is hidden from the very users whose interests it is supposed to secure. A lock on your own house to which you do not have the master key is not a security system, it is a jail.”

Sullivan further explained that while the promise of increased transparency sounds good, in the end it amounts to nothing — it is impossible for end users to review the underlying code.

Strong words, but then again, these are to be expected.

You can take a full look at what the foundation is getting at, at the link above. There is obviously a small, select group that lives and breathes free software top to bottom. Most Windows users, however, are fine with running both proprietary and open source applications parallel to one another.

And chances are many will continue to do so, going forward.

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  • Ray C

    This free software, open-source guys can really get annoying sometime. If you don’t want to use someone’s proprietary software, don’t buy it. If you’re going to go after MS, why not go after this people who take open-source software then make a commercial version of it. We all understand the benefits of open-source in the tech industry, but people on that side have been totally misrepresenting their own message for years. For many years the open-source and new technology crowds tied themselves in with the P2P, file sharing, Torrent, Pirate, and everything free crowds. Don’t try to get allies by attaching yourself to someone with an alternative agenda. IF you want to express the benefits of something from a technical perspective, keep it there, and just focus on why the technology aspects of it. Half the people running around the Internet talking about open-source think it’s just about getting everything for free

  • Mike Greenway

    Another article about name callers, is this an election year?

  • Robert Trance

    The nuts cannot understand anything about ownership of valuable assets (besides their ass-ets), like Windows 8/8.1 is of huge value, of course is not a free software, nor a Mac is, however they always think they have the rights for the world’s full content to be able to “improve”….Come on, we see how that openness worked out for linux in 21-22 years….

  • Robert Trance

    And home and car analogies get now really old with time…..let’s not put an OS ownership and a home ownership on the same page Mr. Sullivan of all-things-free!

  • WillyThePooh

    I don’t see why a company spent billion of dollars to develop the whole platform should let everyone access their codes. Totally nonsense. Remember a user just pay $199 for the right to use the software.